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Katie Ryan-Anderson, Forum Communications Co., Published September 21 2010

Neighbor says Jamestown man shot by police "never seemed like the kind of person that would harm anybody"

Family and friends dedicated an online Facebook page to Michael Partlow, who was shot by officers of the Jamestown Police Department Sunday morning.

Police said the 27-year-old Partlow threatened three officers with a gun after they were called to Partlow’s apartment with the report of an armed man threatening suicide.

Partlow exited the front door of the building carrying a shotgun. Upon seeing the three officers, he chambered a round into the firearm, according to Police Chief Dave Donegan.

The three officers fired on the man, striking him several times.

Jamestown Police Department policy varies by situation, Donegan said.

“Their training is to protect themselves and others,” he said.

Partlow was taken by ambulance to Jamestown Hospital and later taken by air ambulance to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo.

Officials from Sanford said they were not authorized to release Partlow’s medical condition Monday.

Partlow’s aunt, Marlene Partlow of Kensal, N.D., started the Facebook page “Prayers for Michael Partlow.”

Chelsy Borthwick of Jamestown lives in the same apartment building as Partlow. Borthwick said she was awake in her apartment with her daughter when she heard shots just after 2 a.m.

Borthwick said Partlow sometimes conversed with her and her young daughter and sometimes helped her carry groceries.

“He never seemed like the kind of person that would harm anybody,” she said.

Orange paint marked the ground outside the building Monday, and a window broken in the shooting was boarded up. Dried blood marked the ground and window.

“It was quite a scary night,” Borthwick said.

The three officers are on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. Administrative leave allows the officers to recuperate and receive assistance if they need it, Donegan said.

“It’s not saying anybody did anything wrong,” he said.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating.


Katie Ryan-Anderson writes for the Jamestown Sun